“For every high priest chosen from among men is appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins.”
This is the introduction to the purpose of the priesthood, the high priest in particular. We are reminded that the high priest is chosen from among men on behalf of men. In the case of Israel, the high priest came from the tribe of Levi. One specific family was chosen, and each generation afterward furnished the high priest. This may be more meaningful to the Hebrews audience because, by the time of Jesus, the appointment of the high priest was a political matter. The priesthood, as well as the temple worship, had become corrupt and was more about money and power than it was about acting on behalf of men in their relationship with God.
The high priests offered special sacrifices and were involved in the ceremony of atonement once a year. Only the high priest could enter the Holy of Holies in the temple, and even this was subject to strict rules and regulations. The forgiveness of sins was connected to the shedding of blood and the subsequent offering of the animal to be sacrificed. This blood was taken into the Holy of Holies and sprinkled on the mercy seat and the Ark of the Covenant by the high priest. The high priest first had to offer a sacrifice for himself before he could offer one for the people.
Task for Today: Identify your high priest. It is important because only Jesus can enter the true Holy of Holies in God’s heaven. If you wish to have your sins covered by the blood of the Lamb of God, then you will need to identify Jesus as your high priest.